Like we said in our previous post about saving money on prescriptions, 2015 is going to be a year of frugal spending – this goes for your meds too, splitting tablets can help you save money, did you know?
We already talk a lot about buying meds online to save money and making sure that you are buying from a good online pharmacy. It’s a great way to save money on prescription medication costs but it’s possible to cut your costs even more!
We wanted to share with you another way you can cut down your medication costs. Yes, that’s right, you can save up to 50% more by doing something surprisingly simple. SPLITTING TABLETS.
Splitting tablets can save you the extra few bucks you need for other expenses. In some cases this cannot be done so it’s important to discuss this option with your doctor before going ahead and taking your medication into your own hands.
How come you can save money by splitting tablets? Well pharmaceutical companies use a pricing policy called “flat pricing” This means that a drug is sold at a particular price, regardless of the strength. If you only take a half dose then by splitting a higher dose pill you get the strength you need in each dose but pay half the price.
Sometimes the higher strength versions do have a higher price but it’s still worth it. Let’s take Crestor for example. Crestor treats high cholesterol. 28 tablets of Crestor 10mg sells for $50 and 28 tablets of Crestor 20mg sells for $72 on IsraelPharm.com online pharmacy. If you only need 10mg then instead of paying $100 for two boxes of Crestor 10mg, you can buy one box of Crestor 20mg and split the pills. That’s a very easy saving of $28. In the US you would save even more as the price for 10mg and 20mg is generally the same.
Rule 1 for splitting tablets – Make sure it’s safe!
Make sure the tablets can be safely split – if your meds comes in capsule form with liquid inside or powder inside then splitting the tablets can be unsafe. Some of the tablet can get crushed or spill in the process, it gets wasted or you can end up taking an inaccurate dose.
You should only really split hard tablets, ideally ones that have a score mark down the middle. That is the safest option.
Prescription medications like statins, anti-depressants, ACE incubators and Angiotensin receptor blockers normally have these score marks.
Always discuss the safety implications with your pharmacist or doctor before you start splitting tablets.
Rule 2 for splitting tablets – Use the right equipment!
If you are going to be cutting your tablets in half on a daily basis it’s worth investing in a tablet cutter. They are not that expensive and they help make an accurate cut which means you are splitting the tablets equally. It also means that your tablet won’t shatter when you’re trying to cut it or leave one half of the tablet flying across the room.
Pushing the tablet against the table edge, applying pressure to each side of the tablet with your thumbs or using a camping knife or kitchen knife is dangerous for your hands and your tablet.
For about $6 you can buy a tablet cutter that has a rubber insert to hold your tablets in place while they are being cut. If you ask our opinion, this is the best kind of tablet cutter. You can find them all over the place, everywhere from Amazon and Walgreens to pharmacies like CVS.
Rule 3 for splitting tablets! Make sure it’s worthwhile
Sometimes people split tablets because they need a specific dose that can only be obtained by splitting the tablets. Other times though, it out of choice – mainly for saving money.
If you are splitting your tablets because you want to save money then make sure it’s worth it. Remember, you either have to cut the tablets every other time you take a dose or if your tablets come in a bottle you can cut them all at one time when you first open the bottle. Whatever the reason, it takes time and a little bit of effort. It’s definitely worth it for most people who take this route but make sure it’s financially worth it for you. Only you can weigh up your own pros and cons of tablet splitting.
Here are a few extra warnings for you:
- Be careful not to hurt yourself in the process
- If you take multiple medications, be careful not to split the wrong tablet or confuse your doses – it’s easily done
- Make sure your tablet is safe to cut. Some tablets have special coatings that protect the stomach. If the coating is destroyed then the ingredients inside the pill could cause stomach irritation. These tablets are not safe to cut. Some drugs are time-releasing so you don’t get the entire dose at the same time. If you cut them it destroys this feature and you get the entire dose at the same time. These tablets are not safe to split as they can cause over dosing. Drugs that get processed quickly by the body and need several doses a day are not safe to split. If you don’t get the split 100% right your body might run low on the medication before the next dose. Ideally, only split one-a-day medications.
- Drugs like birth control that are pre-packed in a month’s supply/specific doses should not be split.
- Only solid tablets should be split – not capsules with liquid or powder in.
Here’s a final thought from Saul, our very own managing pharmacist and owner of IsraelPharm.com online pharmacy
“In general if the tablet is scored then it is safe to split. Remember that if accurate dosing is required for example coumadin – then it is best to spend a little bit more and get the exact dose rather than splitting to save a few bucks! If you are in doubt – contact us and we will look it up”